Circuit des Nations

The Circuit des Nations ("Circuit of the Nations") is a long street circuit of 4110 meters between Lake Geneva and the Place des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. It hosted the Grand Prix de Nations, similar to a Formula One race; the Grand Prix de Genève, similar to a Formula Two race; and various championship events. The first Grand Prix de Genève was held in Meyrin in 1931 and won by Marcel Lehoux, racing for Bugatti.

Geneva race-track (Switzerland)Edit

The Geneva race-track[1] was established between the lake (Geneva) and the Nations square. Its length was 4,110 m (2.55 mi). Grand-Prix races were organised after World War II, on this track, similar to Formula 1 or Formula 2 races, as well as non championship ones. In total 5 major events happened on this track between 1946 and 1950. Key pilots came here to compete: among them Giuseppe Farina, Raymond Sommer, Maurice Trintignant, Juan Manuel Fangio, Prince Bira (who had established residency, in Geneva).

The closest race-tracks were Aix les Bains – France (Circuit du Lac) and Lausanne (Circuit du Léman or Blécherette). All were temporary urban race-tracks that disappeared shortly after the Le Mans accident in 1955, or before.

Date Race Race track Category Lap length
July 21, 1946 1st Grand Prix des Nations Circuit des Nations Grand Prix FIA 2.900 km (1.802 mi)Switzerland
May 2, 1948 2nd Grand Prix de Genève Circuit des Nations Formula 2 FIA, non-championship 2.900 km (1.802 mi)
May 2, 1948 2nd Grand Prix des Nations Circuit des Nations Formula 1 FIA, non-championship 2.900 km (1.802 mi)
July 30, 1950 3rd Grand Prix de Genève Circuit des Nations Formula 2 FIA, non-championship 3.990 km (2.479 mi)
July 30, 1950 3rd Grand Prix des Nations Circuit des Nations Formula 1 FIA, non-championship 3.990 km (2.479 mi)

Note: contradictory information about the length of the track have been witnessed. Measurement on maps indicate that the shorter length is more likely.

1st Grand Prix des NationsEdit

FIA Grand Prix, Circuit des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland – July 21, 1946

44 laps of the urban race track (short version) of 2,965 m (1.842 mi), or 130 km (81 mi), at an average speed of 103.9 km/h (64.6 mph).

Position Pilot Car
1   Giuseppe Farina Alfa Romeo 158
2   Carlo Felice Trossi Alfa Romeo 158
3   Jean-Pierre Wimille Alfa Romeo 158
4   Tazio Nuvolari Maserati 4CL
5   Emmanuel de Graffenried Maserati 4CL
6   Prince Bira ERA B
7   Achille Varzi Alfa Romeo 158
8   Raymond Sommer Maserati 4CL
DNF   George Abecassis Alta
DNF   Reg Parnell Maserati 4CL
DNF   Luigi Villoresi Maserati 4CL

2nd Grand Prix de GenèveEdit

FIA Formula 2, non championship race, Circuit des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland – May 2, 1948

70 laps of the urban race-track (short version) 2,945 m (1.830 mi), or 206 km (128 mi), at an average speed of 98.15 km/h (60.99 mph).[2]

 
Talbot Lago T26
Position Pilot Team Car
1   Raymond Sommer Equipe Gordini Simca-Gordini T11
2   Prince Bira Equipe Gordini Simca-Gordini T11
3   Robert Manzon Equipe Gordini Simca-Gordini T11
4   Harry Schell Ecurie Bleue Cisitalia D46-Fiat
5   "Robert" Ecurie Pano Cisitalia D46-Fiat
6   Claude Bernheim Ecurie Autosport Cisitalia D46-Fiat
DNF   Raymond de Saugé Raymond de Saugé Destrez Cisitalia D46-Fiat
DNF   Carlo Pesci Carlo Pesci Cisitalia D46-Fiat
DNF   Roger Loyer Ecurie de Paris Cisitalia D46-Fiat
DNF   Maurice Trintignant Equipe Gordini Simca-Gordini T11
DNF   Hans Stuck Hans Stuck Cisitalia D46-Fiat
DNF   Rudolf Fischer Ecurie Espadon[3] Simca-Gordini T11
DQ   Walter Triverio Ecurie Pano Cisitalia D46-Fiat

2nd Grand Prix des NationsEdit

FIA Formula 1, non championship race, Circuit des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland – May 2, 1948

80 laps of the urban race-track (short version) 2,945 m (1.830 mi) or 236 km (147 mi), at an average speed of 98.18 km/h (61.01 mph).

 
Delahaye 135S
Position Pilot Car
1   Giuseppe Farina Maserati 4CLT
2   Emmanuel de Graffenried Maserati 4CL
3   Raymond Sommer Ferrari 166SC
4   Eugène Chaboud Delahaye 135S
5   Henri Louveau Delage D6.70
6   Clemar Bucci Maserati 4CL
DNF   Jean-Pierre Wimille Simca-Gordini T15
DNF   Charles Pozzi Talbot-Lago T150C
DNF   Louis Rosier Talbot-Lago 150SS
DNF   Yves Giraud-Cabantous Talbot-Lago 150C
DNF   Nello Pagani Maserati 4CL
DNF   Luigi Villoresi Maserati 4CL
DNF   Luigi Fagioli Maserati 4CL
DNF   Maurice Trintignant Simca-Gordini T15
DNF   Prince Bira Maserati 4CL
DNF   Richard Ramseyer Maserati 4CL
DNF   Louis Chiron Talbot-Lago T26 SS

3rd Grand Prix de GenèveEdit

FIA Formula 2, non championship race, Circuit des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland – July 30, 1950

45 laps of the urban race-track 6,325 m (3.930 mi) or 253 km (157 mi), at an average speed of 120.93 km/h (75.14 mph).

 
Veritas Meteor
Position Pilot Team Car
1   Maurice Trintignant Equipe Gordini Simca-Gordini T15
2   André Simon Equipe Gordini Simca-Gordini T15
3   Dorino Serafini Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 166F2
4   Roberto Mieres Automovil Club Argentina Maserati 4CLT/48
5   André Canonica André Canonica Simca-Gordini T11
6   Lance Macklin HW Motors Ltd. HWM/Alta
7   Alfred Dattner Alfred Dattner Simca-Gordini T11
8   Luigi Villoresi Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 166F2
9   Toni Branca Mme. Walckiers Simca-Gordini T15
10   "Robert" Ecurie Paris Cisitalia D46/Fiat
DNF   Mario Tadini Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 166F2
DNF   Aldo Gordini Equipe Gordini Simca-Gordini T15
DNF   Roger Loyer Ecurie Paris Simca-Gordini T16
DNF   Paul Glauser Ecurie Suisse Veritas Meteor
DNF   Alexander Orley Alexander Orley Veritas Meteor
DNF   George Abecassis HW Motors Ltd. HWM/Alta
DNF   Ernesto Tornqvist Equipe Gordini Simca-Gordini T11
DNF   Harry Schell Horschell Racing Corporation Cooper T12/JAP

3rd Grand Prix des NationsEdit

FIA Formula 1, non championship race, Circuit des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland – July 30, 1950

68 laps of the urban race-track 6,325 m (3.930 mi) or 430 km (270 mi), at an average speed of 127.60 km/h (79.29 mph).

 
Alfa Romeo 159
Position Pilot Car
1   Juan Manuel Fangio Alfa Romeo 158
2   Emmanuel de Graffenried Alfa Romeo 158
3   Piero Taruffi Alfa Romeo 158
4   Alberto Ascari Ferrari 125
5   Yves Giraud-Cabantous Talbot-Lago T26C
6   Giuseppe Farina Alfa Romeo 158
7   Robert Manzon Simca-Gordini T15
8   Louis Chiron Maserati 4CLT-48
9   Luigi Villoresi Ferrari 125
10   Johnny Claes Talbot-Lago T26C
11   Felice Bonetto Maserati Milano 4CLT-50
12   Franco Rol Maserati 4CLT-48
13   Toni Branca Maserati 4CL
DNF   Raymond Sommer Talbot-Lago T26C
DNF   Reg Parnell Maserati 4CLT-48
DNF   Prince Bira Maserati 4CLT-48
DNF   David Murray Maserati 4CLT-48
DNF   Gianfranco Comotti Maserati Milano 4CLT-50
DNF   Harry Schell Maserati 4CLT-48
DNF   José Froilán González Maserati 4CLT-48

A tragic endEdit

Towards the end of the third Grand Prix des Nations (1950), the engine of Alberto Ascari's Ferrari 340 blew up, pouring oil onto the corner at the end of the Avenue de la Paix. Behind him Luigi Villoresi, in a Ferrari 275, could not avoid the oil, his car skidded, went over the security barrier and ploughed into the crowd. Three spectators were killed,[4] another twenty were injured. Villoresi survived with a severely fractured leg.

After this tragedy, stemming like others from the use of street circuits ill-adapted to increasingly high-speed motor racing, the organisers cancelled the following year's event. Geneva would never again host a Grand Prix race.

In 1958 motor racing was banned altogether by the Swiss government as an unsafe spectator sport following the death of 80 people at the 1955 24 Hours of Le Mans race.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ [1] Archived 2008-04-10 at the Wayback Machine Map
  2. ^ "Formula 2 1948 - Geneve". Formula2.net. Retrieved 2012-06-10.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-04-10. Retrieved 2016-03-04.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) (en) présentation
  4. ^ [2] (en) Circuit des Nations – détails of the accident